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, ,      Congressional Research Service
   Inftfo rming th e lsative debate since 1914


                                                                                           Updated May 14, 2019

United Nations Issues: U.S. Funding of U.N. Peacekeeping

The United States is the single largest financial contributor
to U.N. peacekeeping activities. Congress authorizes and
appropriates U.S. contributions, and it has an ongoing
interest in ensuring such funding is used as efficiently and
effectively as possible. The United States, as a permanent
member of the U.N. Security Council, plays a key role in
establishing, renewing, and funding U.N. peacekeeping
operations. For 2019, the United Nations assessed the
United States share of U.N. peacekeeping operation budgets
at 27.89%; however, since 1994 Congress has capped the
U.S. payment at 25% due to concerns that the current
assessment is too high. For FY2019, total enacted U.S.
funding for U.N. peacekeeping is $1.6 billion.

U.N. Peacekeeping Funding
The United Nations currently operates 14 U.N.
peacekeeping missions worldwide, with about 100,000
military, police, and civilian personnel from more than 120
countries. The Security Council adopts a resolution to
establish each operation and specifies how it will be funded.
In most cases, it authorizes the U.N. General Assembly to
create a separate assessed account for each operation to be
supported by member states contributions.

The General Assembly adopts the scale of assessments for
U.N. member contributions to peacekeeping operations
every three years. The peacekeeping scale is based on a
modification of the regular budget scale, with the five
permanent council members assessed at a higher level than
for the regular budget. For example, the United States is
assessed at 22% of the regular budget; however, its current
peacekeeping assessment is 27.89%. Other top contributors
include China, Japan, and Germany (see Table 1).

Table I. Top Financial Contributors to U.N.
Peacekeeping, 2019, by Assessment Rate
Country             Percent    Country       Percent
I. United States   27.89       6. France     5.61
2. China            15.22      7. Italy      3.31
3. Japan           8.56        8. Russia     3.05
4. Germany          6.09       9. Canada     2.73
5. United Kingdom   5.79       10. S. Korea  2.27
              Rest of Membership, Total: 19.48
Source: U.N. document, A/73/350/Add. l, December 24, 2018.
Note: Italics represent permanent Security Council members.
U.N. members voluntarily provide the military and police
personnel for each U.N. mission. Peacekeepers are paid by
their own governments, which are reimbursed by the United
Nations at a standard rate determined by the Assembly
(about $1,428 per soldier per month).The U.N.
peacekeeping financial year runs from July 1 to June 30; the
Assembly usually adopts resolutions to finance
peacekeeping missions in late June. The total approved
budget for the current peacekeeping year is $7.02 billion.

Operations with the highest annual budgets are UNMISS
(South Sudan), at $1.12 billion; MONUSCO (Democratic
Republic of the Congo), at $1.11 billion; and MINUSMA
(Mali), at $1.07 billion.

U.S. Policy

Background and Context: The Enacted U.S. Cap
In the early 1990s, the U.S. peacekeeping assessment was
over 30%, which many Members of Congress found too
high. In 1994, Congress set a 25% cap on funding for all
fiscal years after 1995 (P.L. 103-236). Over the years, the
gap between the actual U.S. assessment and the cap has led
to funding shortfalls. The State Department and Congress
have often covered these shortfalls by raising the cap for
limited periods and allowing for the application of U.N.
peacekeeping credits (excess U.N. funds from previous
peacekeeping missions) to fund outstanding U.S. balances.
For several years, these actions allowed the United States to
pay its assessments to U.N. peacekeeping missions in full.
However, since FY2017 Congress has declined to raise the
cap, and in mid-2017, the Trump Administration allowed
for the application of peacekeeping credits up to, but not
beyond, the 25% cap-leading to the accumulation of
additional U.S. arrears.

Key Accounts and Recent Funding Levels
U.S. assessed contributions to U.N. peacekeeping
operations are provided primarily through two accounts
funded in annual State Department-Foreign Operations
(SFOPS) appropriations acts:
* The Contributions for International Peacekeeping
   Activities (CIPA) account, which funds 12 of the 14
   U.N. peacekeeping operations. (CIPA also funds the
   U.N. criminal tribunals and State Department mission
   monitoring and evaluation activities.)

* The Peacekeeping Operations (PKO) account, which
   funds to most non-U.N. peacekeeping and regional
   stability operations, funds assessed contributions to the
   U.N. Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS).

In addition to CIPA and PKO funding, the Contributions to
International Organizations (CIO) account funds two
observer missions, UNTSO (Israel and the Palestinians) and
UNMOGIP (India and Pakistan), which are funded through
U.S. contributions to the regular budget.
For FY2020, the President requested $1.13 billion for U.N.
peacekeeping, a 27% decrease from the enacted FY2019
CIPA level of $1.55 billion (see Table 2). In its request, the
Administration highlighted its commitment to seek
reduced costs by reevaluating mandates, design and
implementation of peacekeeping missions and sharing the
funding burden more fairly with other U.N. members.

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